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Author Topic: Poor etiquette or not?  (Read 30123 times)

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Klein Bottle

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Re: Poor etiquette or not?
« Reply #45 on: April 14, 2014, 10:12:36 AM »
OP, it sounds to me like the cash bar for all beverages was the cherry on the cupcake of frustration for you and your husband that day.  It's awful that the groom actively recruited him to be in the wedding party and then set about to treat him shabbily.  I don't blame you for not giving the gift, nor for leaving right after dinner, and if I were in your shoes, I would be cutting these people out of my life. 

I agree with previous posters that timing and content count, as far as any rudeness involving the Facebook post. 

As for cash bars, I have never come across this issue, not for alcohol and definitely not for soft drinks.  Even the sweetest, simplest little church hall weddings I attended down south, for high school friends, etc., always included sweet tea, lemonade, and coffee, at a minimum.  However, as long as I knew in advance, I don't think a cash bar for alcoholic drinks would bother me much, (maybe the fact that I don't drink much colors my opinion), but including water only is really low-down and cheap hosting. 
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shhh its me

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Re: Poor etiquette or not?
« Reply #46 on: April 14, 2014, 10:18:16 AM »
In post #14 OP said she and three others were having a discussion (on FB, I believe) about wedding etiquette/the bar issue and that's when the bride responded and mentioned the lack of gift. It's been asked if they were specifically discussing this wedding openly, where bride would see it and know they were talking about her wedding, but OP hasn't been back to the discussion yet.

Actually, she never said that the discussion before the bride chimed in was about a cash bar.  It may have been, but that's not what she said.

If it was fairly obvious that they were using that wedding as the basis for discussion of etiquette, like others have said, I see why the bride did weigh in.  It sounds like a bad situation all round.
After years of being on this forum I still can't figure out how to quote multiple threads.   But in total there refer to the bride replying  paraphrasing ..."Why complain about having to pay for soft drinks when you didn't even give a gift."  So the "general" etiquette discussion was about paying for drinks.


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Re: Poor etiquette or not?
« Reply #47 on: April 14, 2014, 10:32:46 AM »
Timing can be everything though... if I attend your wedding on Saturday and post a "general" wedding etiquette musing post on FB on Sunday, I would not think you were being paranoid if you concluded that the post might have been prompted by your wedding rather than just out of nowhere.  Obvs OP has not clued us in as to what exactly happened here, so it's still unclear, but I think something can be "general" while still having the appearance of targeting another.

I agree with this completely. If my wedding were on one weekend, and the following week several friends who attended my wedding were discussing wedding etiquette, I would likely assume something about my wedding sparked the conversation. I think that is a reasonable assumption.
Agreed.  This is not something that I would discuss with the HC, in front of the HC ( on-line counts), or with anyone who is close to the HC.  The bride should have never known how the OP felt about the water only reception.

I can see talking about this on an anonymous forum like this one or with people who have no ties to those involved (like talking with co-workers about an out-of-state wedding that I attended).  If you're going to criticize someone's hosting, it is rude to do it in front of them or where they can easily hear/read about it or be told by someone else.

It was still rude of the bride to publicly state the the OP didn't give a gift.  That information should have also been kept quiet.


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Re: Poor etiquette or not?
« Reply #48 on: April 14, 2014, 10:44:52 AM »
I have to admit that publicly discussing the HC's poor hosting (and where the bride could see it) was pretty rude (although she did put herself in bridezilla territory by admonishing the OP for not providing a gift -- we had a few guests who didn't provide gifts, so what?  As others have stated many many MANY times, gifts are not mandatory).


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Re: Poor etiquette or not?
« Reply #49 on: April 14, 2014, 10:45:40 AM »
My feeling about this is that a wedding reception is a party being hosted by the couple or their parents. When you host a party, you don't charge people for food and refreshments. If you host a party at your home you wouldn't have guests pay for their drinks. Just because your party is at another venue, doesn't make it okay. What I believe has happened is that many couples have become so focused on their wedding being  a huge, impressive affair, that they can't afford the party they want, thus the cash bar.

I believe that we need to go back to understanding exactly what a wedding is supposed to be, 2 people committing to each other in a ceremony, and hosting a party for their loved ones in celebration. The flowers, photos, clothes, food, and alcohol should be secondary. The fact that everyone does it, doesn't make it okay. With a cash bar, you are making your guests pay for their own refreshments. To me this is no different from charging people for their dinner.


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Re: Poor etiquette or not?
« Reply #50 on: April 14, 2014, 10:51:27 AM »
I think it is extremely poor etiquette to have a cash bar.  I also think it was poor etiquette of her to comment on your not giving a gift. 


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Re: Poor etiquette or not?
« Reply #51 on: April 14, 2014, 11:01:12 AM »
I think it is extremely poor etiquette to have a cash bar.  I also think it was poor etiquette of her to comment on your not giving a gift.

I really do think, even outside of my own social environment, that a cash bar is pretty bad, never mind a cash bar for all non-water beverages, but this comes from someone who was horrified at the idea of hiring servers who'd dare put out a tip jar (I made sure to hire servers who wouldn't do that; the original idea, which was DH's -- hire friends of the reception hall's manager -- would've required us to accept them putting out a tip jar, something I was vehemently against given we were paying for everything so why should our guests be expected to pay for anything).  OTOH, I've seen how maligned dollar dances have been in this forum, and dollar dances have always been a cultural norm in my ethnic heritage (I think they were then adopted by those who didn't do it for the cultural tradition but for the money aspect) -- a cash bar for all non-water beverages may be an acceptable cultural norm in other areas (obviously, though, not in the OP's social environment).

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Poor etiquette or not?
« Reply #52 on: April 14, 2014, 11:18:16 AM »
I think the happy couple was rude to have a completely cash bar.  I could accept paying for alcoholic drinks (or virgin equivalent of fancy mixed drinks like a Caesar or daiquiri) but having to pay for soda or lemonade or coffee is ridiculous.

I think the bride was rude to chime in on the FB chat with a 'You didn't give us a gift, anyway, so what are you complaining about?'  I also think the bride and groom were rude to exclude the OP's husband in a number of the activities and not being more inclusive, considering they knew of his limitations when they insisted he be in the wedding party.  And $400 for clothes and a bachelor party is gift enough, IMO.  I had a friend flat out tell me I wasn't to give her a wedding gift since I'd paid for all my own stuff as a bridesmaid.

However, I do think the OP and her friends were rude to start even a general etiquette discussion about weddings right after this fiasco happened.  If it was started before the wedding or a considerable time afterwards, not rude.  I can see a bride getting defensive and assuming all the comments were about her if it was done shortly afterwards.  Even though it was a 'If the shoe fits...' situation.

If the OP had not yet given the gift card and a decision was made by both her and her DH to not give the gift after all?  Not rude.  But if the envelope had to be retrieved to remove the gift card?  Rude.

As an aside, when a coworker was planning her wedding, she and her husband were doing their best to abide by his family's cultural norms with regards to the reception.  Apparently, it wasn't unusual for his extended family members to hang on to their card, containing money, until later in the evening and to remove some money from the card for anything that wasn't up to snuff!  Yikes!
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Re: Poor etiquette or not?
« Reply #53 on: April 14, 2014, 12:22:33 PM »
Cash bars are tacky, no matter how you slice it. You host the reception you can afford. You don't turn your guests into customers.

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Re: Poor etiquette or not?
« Reply #54 on: April 14, 2014, 12:37:19 PM »
Cash bars are tacky, no matter how you slice it. You host the reception you can afford. You don't turn your guests into customers.

That is my feeling too. If you cannot afford the alcohol that is fine, a "dry" wedding can be just as lovely with choices of water, coffee, tea, lemonade, etc.

I too have been "surprised" by a cash bar with only $5 in my purse.
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Re: Poor etiquette or not?
« Reply #55 on: April 14, 2014, 01:24:02 PM »
Am I correct in thinking that you and the bride are FB friends and she can see your posts? Even if they were the worst hosts you've ever encountered, it does not absolve your behavior by being a bad guest when you discussed it on FB, knowing full well she might see it.

This is a draw and none of you come out smelling like a rose. The bride should have taken the high road by ignoring your FB conversation, just as you should have done and not discuss it on FB to begin with.

Edited to correct grammar mistake
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 03:33:53 PM by cass2591 »
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Re: Poor etiquette or not?
« Reply #56 on: April 14, 2014, 02:44:33 PM »
I think that cash bars are rude.  You don't charge for the hospitality that you provide, period.  What's next, an upcharge available for guests who want steak instead of chicken, or an extra piece of wedding cake?  For VIP seating near the dance floor or for firsts at the buffet?

There's no obligation to have a full bar, or any bar.  There's no obligation to have alcohol available throughout the reception.  You can have the bar open for a certain amount of time, and with a limited amount of beverages.  Maybe you just have beer, wine, and champagne (plus non-alcoholic drinks).  Maybe you have house brand liquor, maybe you go to the discount warehouse and buy it yourself.

Cash bars are becoming more common.  Common used to equal "poor form."


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Re: Poor etiquette or not?
« Reply #57 on: April 14, 2014, 03:23:56 PM »
Jean jay-myself and three other people were having an etiquette discussion and she decided to call me out for not giving a gift. 

At this time he does not want to continue a relationship with the groom.  It was under his advisement that the gift was not given.

Your DH is a smart man.  These people sound like graceless clods for not only way they chose to conduct their wedding proceedings but calling people out for their gift giving.  Tacky and low brow.  They want what they want because they want it and if they can't afford it then others need to "help them out" and they don't see expecting this of others as being at all unreasonable.

If you can't afford it then you don't do it, but you never ask your guests to subsidize the party/reception that you chose to have.  The party/reception is absolutely a personal choice and one that the bride and groom can control and keep within their means.  No one deserves a big grand reception just because they want one.
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Re: Poor etiquette or not?
« Reply #58 on: April 14, 2014, 07:06:48 PM »
Kathy coo. That wasn't the only reason I withheld it. 

My husband has a particular disability that is well known through his circle of friends.  He originally declined the invitation of being part of the wedding party die to this illness, but after much pleading from the groom he decided to agree.

On the day of the wedding he was treated like total crap.  He was left out of  a lot of what the other wedding party members were doing.  When announcing the groomsmen and bridesmaids they completely left him out. 

The cash bar for soda was just the straw that broke the camels back per we for me. 

The treatment that he received was so deplorable that we left directly after dinner.

Well, you haven't provided any details so I can't comment on reasonableness.  The annoucement could have been an error.  And I don't know if his disability precluded his participation in the other events.

being left out of the groomsmen announcement is a  reasonable detail as is being left out of specific wedding party activities. If the activities precluded his participation, then they should have either a) not insisted he be a groomsman or b) organised activities that all groomsmen could participate. doing anything else is rude.

That is true, but we don't know who planned the activities or what they were.  If it was not the groom, it is unfair to hold him accountable.

Sizoki Dosyan

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Re: Poor etiquette or not?
« Reply #59 on: April 14, 2014, 08:19:15 PM »
I have no real opinion on cash bars, other than it needs to be made known before the wedding so people can be prepared with cash.

However, I have a real opinion about not making non-alcoholic beverages available for free. Soda, punch, ice tea, or coffee should not cost the guests anything. That to me is poor hosting, at its finest.

Did they charge the guests for champagne for the wedding toasts?

No, it was a Riesling house wine of the venue